Marquette’s Changing Waterfront
In writing My Marquette, I realized how seldom people think to take photos when historical changes are happening around town because it was very difficult to find some photos–some I never found–so now and then I like to take photos of what’s changing around Marquette.
Some of my blog readers no longer live in the area, and if you haven’t been home for a few years, you would be surprised by how the Lower Harbor is being transformed. The new Founder’s Landing development is, after a slow beginning, moving forward rapidly with new condominiums (which have become controversial because their height blocks some people’s views of the water front). A new hotel has been begun, and although it was supposed to open this fall and is way behind schedule, it is also progressing.
New walkways and an extensive boardwalk along the water allow for the best view, short of being in a kayak, that anyone has had for years of Ripley’s Rock, and the new boardwalk is quite massive.
At the same time, ruins of the old docks remain as posts in the lake; hopefully, they will remain for years to come as reminders of when Marquette’s Lower Harbor was filled with ships and docks. And the last ore dock in the Lower Harbor remains, tall and strong and not likely to leave us for decades yet to come while her older sister at Presque Isle Park remains Marquette’s last functioning pocket dock.
This newly christened area of Founder’s Landing – Blaine Betts of Marquette holds the honor for coming up with the name – is a far cry today from what the early founders – Robert Graveraet, Peter White, Amos Harlow, Captain Samuel Moody – would have recognized, and Chief Kawbawgam and the Chippewa never could have imagined giant pocket days, much less the condominiums now facing the lake.
Some are less pleased than others by the development, but overall, I believe the changes are all for the better. Marquette just seems to become more beautiful with each year, while retaining its natural charm and its connection to its past.
Surely, visitors to Marquette will continue to consider us one of the best places in the country to live, work, and play as our lake shore becomes beautiful to complement the breathtaking views of the shining big sea water – Lake Superior. Once again, I can’t help but be reminded of the words from the film Meet Me in St. Louis that equally apply to Marquette: “Wasn’t I lucky to be born in my favorite city.”